Political Reform of Progressive Era

Topics: Elections, Democracy, Voting system Pages: 3 (941 words) Published: November 1, 2010
Political and Voting Reform
Dear President Roosevelt,
Your presidency has brought our great nation into a Progressive Era. The policies and reforms you have instituted have helped benefit the citizens of America. There have been many positive changes to the nation along with some negative changes. New voting rights and reforms on politics are among the many changes. The positive far out-weigh the negatives, yet they are still there. Much needed political reforms as well as voting reforms have greatly brought the United States of America forward and idolizes our democracy.

First, three new ideas have been brought up by the former Populist Party in the 1890s. The initiative, referendum, and recall have given the people more of a voice in the government. This reform has positively affected politics in many ways. Initiative allows citizens to bring an idea they want to the government, and the government would then vote on whether or not it will be used. The referendum is almost the opposite because it lets a desired reform be put on a ballot and the people vote on if they want it or not. While the initiative and referendum dealt with laws and ideas, the recall dealt with politicians themselves. The recall allowed voters to vote an elected official out of office if the betrayed the public trust. These three ideas have helped restore the sovereignty of the people.

New amendments to the Constitution have been added to positively change politics for the better. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments both deal with politicians. The Sixteenth Amendment, along with the power for an income tax, created a direct primary, which let voters choose the candidates who would run in an election. The Seventeenth Amendment allowed for the direct election of United States senator by voters. These two amendments helped to reduce corruption and let people vote for whom they wanted in office or who they wanted to run.

The rights of voters have also been...

Bibliography: Liberty, Equality, Power
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